TBR Thursday 234…

Episode 234

It seems very odd to me that my plagueophobia seems to be stopping me from reading but not stopping me from acquiring books! The TBR is back at 214 – up 6! 

(Nope, no reason for this gif other than that it makes me happy!)

So I’ve thrown my reading list out of the window (making sure no one was within six feet of it at the time, of course) and picked some lighter reading till I get back to normal…

Historical Crime Fiction

Execution by SJ Parris

Courtesy of HarperCollins via NetGalley. I read and enjoyed the first book in this series when it came out way back in 2011, and the second book has been lingering unread on my TBR since 2014. The series is now up to number 6, and tragically, despite being so far behind, I couldn’t resist… well, it’s about Mary, Queen of Scots, after all…

The Blurb says: The sixth Tudor thriller featuring Giordano Bruno: heretic, philosopher and spy. Perfect for fans of C. J. Sansom.

England, 1586.

Giordano Bruno returns to England to bring shocking new intelligence to Sir Francis Walsingham. A band of Catholic Englishmen are plotting to kill Queen Elizabeth and spring Mary Queen of Scots from prison to take the English throne in her place.

Bruno is surprised to find that Walsingham is aware of the plot, led by the young, wealthy noble Anthony Babington, and is allowing it to progress. His hope is that Mary will put her support in writing and condemn herself to a traitor’s death.

Bruno is tasked with going undercover to join the conspirators. Can he stop them before he is exposed? Either way a queen will die; Bruno must make sure it is the right one. [FF says: I wonder which Queen will die? Tense, isn’t it…? 😉 ]

* * * * *


All That’s Dead by Stuart MacBride

Courtesy of HarperCollins. I used to love this series in the early days but gradually I felt the characters evolved from being quirky to being outright cartoonish – I felt MacBride had bored of his own creations and wasn’t taking it seriously any more. So I gave up after book 8. However HC sent me this one – book 12 – and I’m happy to jump back in and see if he’s got back into his stride…

The Blurb says: Darkness is coming…

Inspector Logan McRae was looking forward to a nice simple case – something to ease him back into work after a year off on the sick. [FF says: Again? I’m sure this is at least the third book that has begun with Logan returning after a year off on the sick. Perhaps he should consider retraining. 🤔] But the powers-that-be have other ideas…

The high-profile anti-independence campaigner, Professor Wilson, has gone missing, leaving nothing but bloodstains behind. There’s a war brewing between the factions for and against Scottish Nationalism. Infighting in the police ranks. And it’s all playing out in the merciless glare of the media. Logan’s superiors want results, and they want them now.

Someone out there is trying to make a point, and they’re making it in blood. If Logan can’t stop them, it won’t just be his career that dies.

* * * * *


The Split by Sharon Bolton

Courtesy of Orion via NetGalley. A new thriller from Sharon Bolton is always a special treat – one of my favourite current authors…

The Blurb says: She’s got nowhere else to hide…and now he’s coming for her.

Two years ago Felicity Lloyd desperately signed up for an extended research trip working on the remote island of South Georgia.

It was her only way to escape.

And now he’s coming for her.

Freddie Lloyd has just got out of prison for murder and is on his way to where Felicity is hiding. And this time, he won’t stop until he finds her.

Because no matter how far you run, some secrets will always catch up with you…

Tense, gripping and with a twist you won’t see coming, [FF says: well, I will now since you’ve told me to expect it! 🙄] Sharon Bolton is back in an explosive new thriller about a woman on the run…

* * * * *


The Never Game by Jeffery Deaver

Courtesy of HarperCollins again. I was a huge fan of Deaver’s earliest books way back in the Dark Ages, but he lost me with his hugely successful and long-running Lincoln Rhyme series – I could never buy into the character, I’m afraid. So I’m delighted to see him starting a new series and can’t wait to see if this will revive the old magic for me!

The Blurb says: From the bestselling and award-winning master of suspense, the first novel in a thrilling new series, introducing Colter Shaw.

“You have been abandoned.”

A young woman has gone missing in Silicon Valley and her father has hired Colter Shaw to find her. The son of a survivalist family, Shaw is an expert tracker. Now he makes a living as a “reward seeker,” traveling the country to help police solve crimes and private citizens locate missing persons. But what seems a simple investigation quickly thrusts him into the dark heart of America’s tech hub and the cutthroat billion-dollar video-gaming industry.

“Escape if you can.”

When another victim is kidnapped, the clues point to one video game with a troubled past–The Whispering Man. In that game, the player has to survive after being abandoned in an inhospitable setting with five random objects. Is a madman bringing the game to life? [FF says: Oooh… 😲]

“Or die with dignity.”

Shaw finds himself caught in a cat-and-mouse game, risking his own life to save the victims even as he pursues the kidnapper across both Silicon Valley and the dark ‘net. Encountering eccentric game designers, trigger-happy gamers and ruthless tech titans, he soon learns that he isn’t the only one on the hunt: someone is on his trail and closing fast.

* * * * *

NB All blurbs and covers taken from Goodreads or Amazon UK.

* * * * *

So…what do you think? Are you tempted?

46 thoughts on “TBR Thursday 234…

  1. Joining in with that happy dancing gif! These are happy times! HAPPY TIMES I SAY! (I need to stop drinking)

    Split was one of my most anticipated books of this year because I love Sharon Bolton. I have The Never Game on my shelf somewhere too. As for Stuart MacBride, erm …. I don’t think he’s going to win you over again with this one. 🤐

    Liked by 2 people

    • Haha – I knew you’d be dancing along! Tragically, two more have been added since I posted this… 😀

      I’m looking forward to Split and might just finally get around to The Craftsman too while I’m in thriller mode! Haha, I saw your review of the MacBride when I was on Goodreads getting the blurb, and I suspect you may be right… oh well, maybe it will inspire me to work out some anxiety on a nice ranting review… 😉


  2. The Logan McRae books are a blast from the past, I read a few of them when I was going through my Contemporary Scottish Crime phase. I gave up earlier than you did though, after the fourth book I think. It was called Flesh House, and was about canibalism of all things. Remember that one? I’m afraid it was too much for me, and I can’t say I’ve really looked back. If you like this one though, I might try them again.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hahaha, oddly enough I used to really enjoy that kind of dark gruesome type of story. I even liked Val McDermid’s serial killer series for the first several books. But somehow my tastes seem to have changed completely since then and I can’t imagine reading books like that now! I’m sure it must be to do with my hair going grey – someone needs to do a thesis on the connection between ageing and the desire to read cosies… 😉 I shall have to hope this one isn’t too gory…


  3. I don’t blame you at all, FictionFan, for wanting to go with lighter reading, and books that simply appeal to you, rather than a particular list. These are strange times… At any rate, I see you have a Sharon Bolton on your list. I’m drawn to that one right away – she’s so talented. Hope you enjoy them all.

    Liked by 1 person

    • So much less concentration is required for a thriller or mystery than for heavyweight fiction, and a nice cheerful murder always makes me feel better… 😉 I’m looking forward to the Bolton – she’s always entertaining! 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I have The Split waiting to be read as well. But I’ve got a couple do you have a publication sooner than that that I need to get to 1st. I have the same problem is you with the McBride series, so I am going to be very interested in what you have to say about this because I haven’t been tempted to go back. I haven’t read any of the Parrish Novels. Perhaps it’s a series to latch onto if this goes on and I run out of anything else to read!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’ve decided for once to stop paying attention to publication dates and reviewing commitments and just read anything that takes my fancy for a bit – I can get back on schedule once the world gets back to normal! wouldn’t have tried the MacBrides again if the publisher hadn’t sent an unsolicited copy to me, but I’m hoping that maybe he’s gone back to being a bit more serious than the last couple I read. We’ll see! I did enjoy the first in the Parrish series – in the vein of Sansom’s Shardlake, though not quite as good. But I just didn’t ever getting around to following up on them, so I’m intrigued to see how the series has developed…


  5. Your notes on each book made me chuckle! Gotta go with Execution!
    The dancing gif made me happy too! 😀 Now I want to watch that movie again.
    Have six pieces of chocolate–one for every new boo added to the list.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Haha – sometimes the blurbs of books do make me laugh… or roll my eyes! 😉 Execution sounds great – I’m a sucker for Tudor stories, especially if Mary Queen of Scots is thrown in as an added bonus! I may have to dig out the DVD of the movie too – a cure for all anxiety! Haha – I like your style… 😀


  6. Oh yes, The Sharon Bolton book…although I still have a couple of hers waiting on my bookshelves. I couldn’t get into The Never Game. It might not have been the right time so I will have another go at it 😄

    Liked by 1 person

    • I still have a couple of her older ones on my TBR too – maybe The Split will encourage me to have a Bolton splurge! Hmm, it’s so long since I read Jeffery Deaver that I don’t remember much about his style other than that I really loved them. But that was a long time ago and my tastes have undoubtedly changed… we’ll see!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I read one of the earlier SJ Parris books a few years ago and didn’t like it enough to continue with the series, but that one does still sound tempting! The Split is on my NetGalley shelf too – I can’t wait to read it and will be watching for that twist. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • I remember enjoying the first in the Parris series, but not as much as Sansom, for instance. However I’ve really been intending to see how the series has developed over the years and can never resist Mary Queen of Scots, so this seems like a good place to jump back in! The Split sounds great, and Bolton rarely is less than brilliant – I feel it will rise to the top of my heap very soon! 😀


  8. I’m safe this week — whew! But I do love that happy dancing GIF and I might have already watched it several times! I’m glad I’m not the only one finding it hard to concentrate these days.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Haha, it’s a great gif – doesn’t it just make you want to dig out the movie? 😀 I’m really struggling with anything that requires concentration at the moment, so a little splurge of thrillers and mysteries sounds very appealing…

      Liked by 1 person

  9. The books all look good and the dancing makes me smile. Win/win! Just checked my library app and the first two Parris books are available there. I’ve bookmarked the first.

    Yes on the lighter reading. I’m currently at the beach with the “Southern Sisters”. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    • The dancing gif makes me want to dig out the movie for a quick re-watch – Gene Kelly always makes the world a little brighter! It’s so long ago that I can’t remember much about the plot of the first Parris book, but I remember enjoying it – I clearly enjoyed it enough to buy book 2 (but not enough to make me read it straight away *sighs*). Oh, the Southern Sisters sounds perfect – I may have to search the bookshelves and fit in a re-read! 😀

      Liked by 1 person

    • Ha! Lonesome Dove has been on my TBR for years but it’s sooooo looooong!!! Maybe your review will be the thing that finally makes me pick it up! But meantime I shall indulge myself in some nice murders instead… fictional ones only, of course! 😉


  10. Well plagueophobia hasn’t limited your capacity for entertaining posts FF 😀 None of these really appeal to me which is probably a good thing as like you I’m struggling to read right now. I do love the gif though!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Haha, I must admit the blurbs of books often make me roll my eyes… or laugh! Not sure which is worse… 😉 Yes, it’s odd how hard it is to concentrate on reading when all I really want to do is get lost in a story. Maybe a re-watch of Gene Kelly movies is in order – he always makes the world a better place. 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Sorry, for my light reading, I’m tending toward middle grade and picture books. Much of YA is too dystopian for me right now, and I’ve never been a fan of fantasy. Adult books with complex plots/emotions have been set aside as well. I do, however, have a new book that I ordered for my son called BLACK WAVE by Kim Ghattas. It’s about the history of the Middle East and is part of his “homeschooling” history class. We’ll see how far we get with that one.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m not sure what it says about me that my idea of relaxation is to read about a few nice little murders! 😉 I’m really struggling with anything heavier than crime fiction at the moment – I’m enjoying the books I’m reading but am taking forever to read them. Oh, I saw Ghattas being interviewed about her book – as I’m sure you know she’s a very well known and respected broadcast journalist over here. It sounds very good – I’m tempted to read it myself sometime.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. I like how you’re switching to all crime right now, if I wasn’t obligated to be reviewing other things I’d be doing the same! Strangely, the tv I find comforting to watch when stressed is Murder She Wrote! Cozy mysteries are always a balm to my overworked mind 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’ve decided to put all my reviewing obligations to one side for a bit and just read what takes my fancy – most of which happen to be review books anyway! Haha – I love Murder, She Wrote and have been known to binge-watch several episodes at a time when stressed! In fact, I keep a supply on my TIVO box for emergencies… 😂

      Liked by 1 person

    • Anne of Green Gables sounds perfect for a re-read! My diet of crime thrillers is working for me at the moment, but I’m seriously hoping to be able to read some “proper” fiction again soon…


      • All in good time… I’m not taking my own advice, am taking a week to read something I’d normally read in a day or so. Will save my next Classics Club book for a while though, haven’t got the concentration.

        Liked by 1 person

        • I’m slowly beginning to get back to being able to read but I’m still struggling to actually finish anything. I’ll need to get back to writing reviews soon – very soon! – or the blog will be empty. Maybe I’ll need to invent a game… 😀

          Liked by 1 person

  13. Sharon Bolton – I’m very excited! Hope you and yours are well. Think I might have solved how to comment on WordPress blogs. We’ll see.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, this comment came through OK! Your last one ended up in spam and I didn’t notice it for a couple of days – sorry. I’m looking forward to the Sharon Bolton – she’s usually brilliant! Stay safe and well, Kay.


    • It’s a great gif, isn’t it? 😀 I’m finding my diet of crime thrillers is working well for me at the moment but it will be good to get back to normal reading patterns sometime, hopefully soon…

      Liked by 1 person

  14. Hope you enjoy all of them! I am currently reading McBride’s “Flesh House” which another commenter mentioned. What is it with Scottish crime writers and cannibalism?! The latest from James Oswald explored similar theme. Anyway, I probably have to start all over again since I don’t remember much. Before the world changed it was my travel book (to be read on planes and in airports) but since it may be a while before that is going to happen again, I guess an audiobook download is in order.

    Recently, I have been reading relatively light stories as well, including reread of a Harry Potter book and The Hunger Games (yes, feel free to roll your eyes 😉 )

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hahaha! It always worries me that there are so many Scottish crime writers with such dark thought roaming around my little country. I do hope writing novels gets it out of their systems! I’m hoping this new one will do the trick – I used to look forward to each new MacBride as a special treat.

      😂 No eye-rolling from me! I haven’t read The Hunger Games but I love Harry Potter – perfect light reading to take our minds off real life. I may have to dig them out again myself…

      Liked by 1 person

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